Cherry Antioxidants Are Great For Your Health
Perhaps the most important facet of the nutritive value of cherries is its abundance of cherry antioxidants. While cherries are equally rich in vitamins and minerals, it is not that difficult to pick up any other fruit from the shelf and get the same vitamin and mineral value. With regard to cherry antioxidants, however, this is altogether a different story. The antioxidants in cherries are in exceedingly high concentrations not found in other fruits making cherries one of the most valued fruits when it comes to disease prevention.
According to recent studies conducted on the antioxidant content of various cherry forms, cherries on the market enjoy considerable advantage over other fruit and vegetable products. Consider the following levels of cherry antioxidants as determined via rigorous laboratory testing:
· Cherry concentrates: 12,800 ORAC units
· Cherries in dried form: 6,800 ORAC units
· Frozen cherries: 2,000 ORAC units
· Cherries in canned packaging: 1,700 ORAC units
The ORAC unit refers to the oxygen radical absorbance capacity and it measures the reactivity of a certain sample towards neutralizing or absorbing free radicals in any given biological system. This is where the real value of antioxidants lie; cherry antioxidants and those from other plant groups prevent harmful free radicals from doing damage to cells and tissues by reacting with it before it gets deposited into vital body parts.
Specific to cherries, antioxidants that you can expect to consume with every cherry serving include anthocyanins and flavonoids. The anthocyanins give cherries their characteristic red color and are equally abundant in grapes which make red wine also a highly valuable health food when consumed in moderation. All in all, there are said to be more than 150 different kinds of flavonoids and anthocyanins that all possess various anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.
To round off the long list of cherry antioxidants, there are also phenolic compounds that are likewise classified as antioxidants but are present in more specific forms in cherry servings. Tart cherries, for example, are rich in compounds such as quercetin, p-coumaric acid, kaempferol, gallic acid, melatonin and ellagic acid which aid the body in fighting against cancer. Specific to the compound melatonin, this antioxidant has already been heavily marketed as a food supplement because of its stress-fighting properties. It also helps to regulate wake-and-sleep patterns in many individuals as well as aid in strengthening the vascular system, and fighting inflammation-causing agents.
Cherry antioxidants open up a whole new world of disease prevention and treatment options simply by placing additional emphasis on nutrition and proper diet. The benefits of cherries in food cannot be underestimated and with the growing risks of cancers across many countries in the world primarily due to poor eating habits, the value of cherry antioxidants has never been higher or more in-demand!
So the next time you find cherries on a store shelf, whether in concentrate, canned, frozen or fresh form, think of those vital cherry antioxidants that you get out of every bite or gulp. Then incorporate cherries into your and your family’s diet to add another layer of protection against the nasty effects of chronic and life-threatening diseases.
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